(All this talk of finances is really harshing Urijah’s mellow. Pic: CageToday)
Props to our BFFs over at Bloody Elbow for pointing out an odd little singularity in the early UFC 132 betting lines this morning. After bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz and challenger Urijah Faber opened at matching -120 odds, early money appeared to push Faber to as much as a -160 favorite before Cruz stormed back to flip-flop the line. As is it stood in the a.m. on Monday, Cruz was now a -160 favorite, while Faber was a +120 dog, exactly the opposite of where they’d been less than 24 hours earlier.
But what does it all mean, you ask? Well, one of two things: Either the knee-jerk, hair-trigger gamblers blew their wad on Faber only to have opportunists go heavy on Cruz as soon as he became an underdog … or the chimpanzees who get paid to do data entry at these gambling sites screwed it up to begin with. Either way, we know you’re dying to hear more …
We think this is a pretty good line for this fight, actually. Granted, the Cali Kid won their initial featherweight meeting back in March of ’07, but Cruz has been hell on wheels since dropping to 135-pounds the following year. He’s become one of the more elusive and maddening fighters in the sport and seems to be picking up steam just as Faber’s career may be beginning to flag.
It’s the right call to make Cruz the favorite here. Especially after a lot of people were underwhelmed by Faber early on in his most recent bout against Eddie Wineland. If odds makers want to do their best to split the betting – and you know they do – then the best thing they can do is to encourage people to take a flier on the former featherweight champion by making him the slight dog.
Then again, in Faber’s favor, you’ve got Cruz coming off fairly significant surgery that made his hand blow up like one of those giant Hulk fists people sometimes bring to UFC shows. No telling how much that or the ensuing seven-month layoff will affect him. Faber is also the only guy ever to actually beat The Dominator and teammate Joseph Benavidez has given Cruz the toughest fights (albeit both of them wins for the champ) of his bantamweight run.
If you were lucky enough to pounce on Cruz during his fleeting time as an underdog, the Gambling Addiction Enabler says good on ya. If not, just sit tight and see if things tighten up again as the mainstreamers start to sniff out Faber as we get closer to fight time.